More bang for government bucks

More bang for government bucks

With CMMI Level 5 processes, RDECOM’s ARDEC pursues reuse of government-owned IP and hardware to drive down the costs and shorten schedules for software-intensive weapon systems to more quickly field systems to Soldiers. By Mr. David R. Castellano and Mr. Michael A. Zecca The basic components of armament systems—weapon, ammunition and fire control—are essentially the same, but vary in how they are implemented and their degree of automation. However, as simple as the basic components are, several factors create the potential for complication. Different system contractors, the increased use of electronics in armament systems and implementation of functions through software—these factors can lead to a proliferation of unique armament systems. […]

Dogs of War

Dogs of War

Dogs are no strangers to war. Indeed, it’s likely that canine militarization is as old as canine domestication. Historical accounts of dogs participating in warfare date at least as far back as the middle of the seventh century B.C. According to a 1915 article in The New York Times, the Egyptians used dogs in war in the fifth century B.C., and “it is certain that no metaphor was intended by Shakespeare when he made Antony exclaim, ‘Cry “havoc” and let slip the dogs of war.’ ” In the November-December 1970 issue of this magazine’s predecessor publication, Army Research and Development magazine, the article “Canine Caution Warns Troops of Concealed Dangers” […]

Bounce

Bounce

PM TAS teams with Rock Island Arsenal and ARDEC to improve performance, safety, costs for the recoil system of the M119 howitzer By MAJ Wade Perdue More than two decades have passed since the first M119 howitzer rolled off the production line at Rock Island Arsenal – Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center (RIA-JMTC), yet it remains one of the Army’s primary direct and indirect fire support assets. This lightweight, air-mobile, towed howitzer has been the workhorse for the Army’s infantry brigade combat teams’ direct support artillery battalions. Over the past 13 years, it has seen extensive use in both Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (OEF and OIF). The Army […]

Picatinny engineers use advanced sensor technologies

Picatinny engineers use advanced sensor technologies

By Eric Kowal, ARDEC Public Affairs PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. (Jan. 21, 2015) — By integrating many small sensors into light mortar systems, Picatinny engineers are developing a technology for use on all U.S. military mortar systems to give Soldiers faster, more accurate mortar fire. The Weaponized Universal Lightweight Fire-Control, known as WULF, couples many small sensors together to create a robust, lightweight pointing device that will increase mortar fire. How much faster? An average gun crew is expected to have the 81mm system aimed on target from a dismantled state in four minutes 30 seconds. With WULF, the setup time for the 81mm mortar systems is cut to one minute. […]

Adapting Artillery

Adapting Artillery

Design change strengthens battle-worn M119A3 howitzer at less cost than new system By Mr. Joseph Lipinski and MAJ Wade Perdue  Over a decade has passed since the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), and the Army has asked more from its artillerymen than at any time in history. No matter what the mission, from multiple deployments to conducting nonstandard missions in some of the most remote locations in the world, artillerymen have always been flexible and adaptable. But high-altitude mountain warfare has tested more than the limits of our Soldiers; it has tested the limits of the howitzers they fire, as witness the M119A3. With its extended range, accuracy, reliability […]

Training Boom

Training Boom

Suite of trainers for towed artillery systems blends realism, modularity By Maj. Daniel Cowling and Mr. Joshua Zawislak   Engineers from the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) and the Army’s project manager for towed artillery systems (PM TAS) have been collaborating on an innovative training package that will take an avatar-based gaming approach to training for the M777A2 and M119A3 towed howitzers. The current overseas conflict has required Soldiers and Marines to deploy for extended periods in nonstandard missions, without their howitzers and performing jobs outside their normal military occupational specialties (MOSs). While this flexibility has been essential to managing a complex conflict, often it has […]

Faces of the Force: Doug Wong

Faces of the Force: Doug Wong

POSITION: Chief Systems Engineer, Systems Engineering and Technical Integration Division UNIT: Program Manager Maneuver Ammunition Systems, Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey TOTAL YEARS OF SERVICE: 29 years AWARDS: Commander’s Award for Civilian Service (2002, 2013); Achievement Medal for Civilian Service (2000 and 2001) EDUCATION: B.S. in engineering, Polytechnic University; MBA, Monmouth University; Army Management Staff College   Thanks, Mr. Stampp By Susan Follett Chief Systems Engineer Doug Wong traces his interest in science and engineering back some 30-plus years, to his sixth-grade science teacher. “His name was Robert Stampp and he’s the first teacher who got me interested in finding out how things work,” said Wong. “He taught us the basics, […]

New deployable kennels for military dogs mitigate temperature extremes

New deployable kennels for military dogs mitigate temperature extremes

By Audra Calloway, Picatinny Public Affairs   PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. (April 21, 2014) — In Afghanistan, summer temperatures soar to 120 degrees and winter temperatures dip into the teens. Mix in some blinding sandstorms and one can appreciate the importance of adequate military shelter not only for Soldiers, but also for military working dogs. To keep the working dogs healthier and more comfortable during deployments, Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center engineers from Picatinny and Rock Island are developing kennels for environments with temperature extremes, said Project Officer Frank Altamura, who is with the Program Executive Office for Ammunition. The duties of military working dogs include patrolling and searching for […]

Picatinny scaling up in-house chemicals production to shun higher costs

Picatinny scaling up in-house chemicals production to shun higher costs

By Audra Calloway   ROCKAWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (March 10, 2014) — Picatinny scientists and engineers have established a pilot production facility to create the Army’s only in-house process for scaling up chemical compounds, a move that could save money by not having to rely on costlier compounds from outside suppliers. The Picatinny engineers are manufacturing tetranitrocarbazole, or TNC, the compound that serves as the “first-fire” composition for pyrotechnics, such as illumination rounds, signal grenades, mortars and artillery rounds. The “first fire” is what starts ignition within the system. “This is the only pilot facility like it in the Army, and ARDEC is trying to leverage its expertise for developing manufacturing […]

S&T Notebook: Strengthening Communication between S&T and Acquisition

S&T Notebook: Strengthening Communication between S&T and Acquisition

Dr. Scott Fish This is a regular column by Dr. Scott Fish, Army Chief Scientist, on activities in the Army science and technology (S&T) community and their potential impact on Army acquisition programs. On May 21, I gave the keynote address to the 18th Annual Automotive Research Center Conference, a cooperative effort hosted by the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC). Increasingly, S&T development is done with cooperation with academia, government research centers, industry partnerships, and centers like these, showcasing the best of these efforts. I toured TARDEC’s recently updated facilities and participated in discussions on the current development and state of the art of ground […]